People who have a great experience – whichever way that experience is deemed as great – will bring your law firm more business. At the very least, it will bring people to your door, whether that expected experience converts them to a client or not, depends on how you treat them when they arrive.
Most times people are a little disgruntled when leaving their friendly lawyer’s office, they either have just paid a shyt–load of money for the transfer of their new house (admittedly most of that goes to government institutions), or they have lost a case and feel like the money spent was a waste, or they win the case, but feel they could have done the job themselves – in most cases they are not skipping for joy when leaving your law firm.
That is why it is important to strike while the iron is hot when you have a satisfied client, or have the opportunity to get other people to recommend your firm.
Let us look at building the referral business, simply find ways to get more people talking about your firm and in turn, referring your law firm to their contacts and friends.
Try to find special ways to allow your client to realise that you are going out of your way to make them feel appreciated. Keep them informed through the process – in which ever medium they wish. When they give you new business, thank them in a matter initiation letter, which at the same time lays down the ground rules about the process.
Follow up calls
We addressed this aspect a few articles ago, but use these follow up calls to establish how the client feels about your firm and whether or not they will give you a referral or recommend your firm and also to see if there is anything else you could do for them.
Costs came in lower than expected
This is never easy, but if you can – over quote and under charge – the client will talk about it guaranteed.
Transparent and regular billing
To me, every firm should do this as a matter of simple business ethics – the idea is to give the client regular updates of the matter as it progresses and also bill them on a regular and transparent way. In short you are giving the client an opportunity to stop you if the costs seem to be escalating too fast, instead of them getting the bill at the end which they cannot and will not pay.
Networking and playing match-maker
Networking groups are gold to a law firm, it allows you to meet with people in your business and personal communities, but don’t stop there – keep the business cards of your networking group somewhere safe and refer business outside of your firm to people and contacts that are seeking help. For example, your networking group might have a plumber and you have a client who tells you about their water problems – you refer the plumber. When the plumber sees that you recommended somebody to them, they will feel indebted to you until they can return the favour by referring somebody back to you.
Make sure you call the business contact you have referred, so that they know you have given the referral, in case they never make contact.
Free advice ebook
You are great writers – you have a special way with words to help convince people of alternative ways of thinking, use this special skill to write a kick-ass ebook PDF that is available to the public to help them in a specific legal issue. It does not have to be concrete legal advice, it can merely explain a law that is complex, but in very simple layman’s terms. Create a hand-out pamphlet as well – not only electronic.
The more you can speak at public gatherings and groups, the more people will refer business to you, or remember your name when seeking legal advice. Start with networking groups and offer to speak about a legal topic that is trending – but remember to speak in layman’s terms.
Ask your satisfied clients for referrals and to recommend you to others, and then don’t forget to call and thank them for the referral.
Most of the above involve networking face to face, but don’t forget that most of the above can be done through social media, blogs and websites as well – for example, when offering the free ebook PDF, you could find related blogs or sites and allow comments and offer it to those readers as well – with links back to your firm.
Never stop looking for ways to allow other people to refer business to you – it still remains the best way to generate new business.